National Commission on Labour (1967)||
8.1 In India, the traditional method of acquiring the desired level of skill in a trade or occupation has been to learn it initially from an elder in the family or a family friend and practise it over long years on the job. The skill thus learnt is in due course passed on to the younger generation in like manner. In organised industrial units, a worker recruited to an unskilled job gradually picked up the requisite knowledge by emulating his senior. In the early decades of this century, the need for trained workers came to be recognised, hut establishment of institutional facilities for training did not receive the required attention. The Whitley Commission (1929—31) almost ignored this aspect. Perhaps, training did not seem to have special relevance then, though some schemes of vocational education and practical training were in operation in railway workshops, in some industrial centres and in large-sized factories. In the enquiries that followed the publication of the Whitley Commission report, whether in the field of labour or education, greater awareness of the problem was in evidence. The Report on the Vocational Education in India (Abbot—Wood Report), 1937, the Report of the Bombay Textile Labour Enquiry Committee, 1940, and the Report on Post-War Educational Development in India (Sargent Report), 1944, all emphasised the need for training facilities for workers. The National Service Labour Tribunals (NSLT) which were set up in 1940—45, ran a training wing, apart from deploying trained workers for industrial work.
8.2 The enquiries undertaken by the Rege Committee revealed that in traditional industries like textiles, sugar, jute and engineering, training requirements were met by the industrial units themselves. The setting up of strategic industries in furtherance of the war effort necessitated special arrangements to be made by the Government of India to organise training of craftsmen on a large scale. With a modest beginning in the early years, 350 institutes with a seating capacity of 50,000 were established towards the close of the war and over 100,000 artisans had been trained by the year 1946. A description of the various schemes of vocational training and apprenticeship in operation towards the end of the war in industrial concerns and in other institutions is found in the Committee's Report. Among the schemes it named were:
(i) Apprenticeship and higher training in railway workshops, a technical school, and the staff college of the railways;
(ii) The well defined apprenticeship schemes in Sone Valley Portland Cement Company, the Assam Oil Company, the Tata Oil Mills Company, the Tata Iron and Steel Company, the Tinplate Co. of India, and some engineering works in Bombay, Bengal, Madras, Uttar Pradesh and the Punjab;
(iii) Training provided in the Dockyards at Bombay and Calcutta Port Trusts and Port Workshops at Calcutta, Madras and Vizagapatam and some municipalities;
(iv) several unorganised industries such as training provided for children by carpet-weaving. bidi and cigar-making, and mica splitting, in the process of getting help from them.
8.3 The Rege Committee also described the schemes run by the Government of India under the auspices of the NSLT. Apart from training within India, some technicians (Bevin Boys) were sent abroad to take advantage of the more broad-based facilities available in the U.K., but specially tailored to war needs. Reporting as it did at the end of the Second World War, the Committee was apprehensive of the closure of institutional training facilities. It looked with hope to their being taken over by the Education Department in collaboration with the Planning and Development Department as recommended by the Sargent Report.1
8.4 With the end of the War in 1945, rehabilitation of ex-servicemen in civil employment became one of the major pre-occupations of Government. The Vocational Training Institutes were utilised for giving training to ex-servicemen. The short-lived Planning and Development Department raised hopes of regular training activities in place of those needed for the war effort Only. Then came training for rehabilitation of displaced persons in the economic life of the country. Both in Punjab and in West Bengal, persons who came in had different occupational skills, work habits and social background as compared to those who crossed the border into Pakistan. While agriculturists and skilled artisans went to Pakistan, those who came in were traders and persons following liberal arts and professions. The latter had to be given an artisan bias to equip them for employments available in the country. The vocational training institutes which were catering to the needs of ex-servicemen were therefore thrown open to young boys and girls uprooted from Pakistan.
Developments under the Plans
8.5 The Five Year Programme for Labour2 adopted by Government in 1946 (hereafter referred to as the 1946 programme) suggested organisation of an industrial training and apprenticeship scheme on a large scale with a view to improving the productive and earning capacity of workers and enabling them to qualify for promotions to higher grades. The climate for expansion of training facilities persisted with the advent of planning. The Second and the Third Plans (1956—66), which were designed to have an industrial bias, emphasised, as a corollary, the need for expansion of training facilities. The requirements of skilled workers were assessed systematically from plan to plan, and as experience was gained, a longer perspective was taken into account for working out the requirements. Vocational training in institutes became the principal means of turning out skilled workers, though even with such expansions as Government could undertake, traditional methods of imparting training had to be continued for many sectors of the economy. The table below indicates the growth of facilities in the Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) of the Directorate General of Employment and Training.
TABLE 8 . 1: Growth of Training Facilities in Industrial Training Institutes
|Period||Engineering Trades||Non-Engineering Trades||Total||Remarks|
|(1) At the end of the||(2)||(3)||(4)||(5)|
|First Plan (1951-56)||8,622||1,912||10,534|
|Second Plan (1956.61)||39,797||2,888*||42,685||*includes 408 seats under the|
|Displaced Persons Scheme.|
|Third Plan (1961-66)||108,196||5,426||113,622|
|As on 30-11-68||139,440||7,112||146,552|
|Fourth Plan (1969-74)||150,000|
1 Labour Investigation Committee, Main Report (1958 print) pp. 83—85.
1 Annexure 1
Source : Directorate General of Employment & Training.
8.6 Recognising that the main demand on the products of these institutions would come from industrial employers, it was considered necessary to work out arrangements for consultation with the prospective employers of these trainees. Government, therefore, constituted in 1957 the National Council for Training in Vocational Trades (NCTVT), consisting of representatives of employers, workers and technical institutions, for seeking advice on all aspects of vocational training and for correlating training facilities with the requirement of industry. The NCTVT, in turn, constituted a number of Trade Committees separately for each of the 30 engineering and 22 non-engineering trades in which the ITIs imparted training. The Trade Committees were to advise the NCTVT on the syllabi, list of equipment, standards of teaching, quality of instructors and other problems connected with each specific trade.
8.7 The 356 ITIs presently working in the country cover all important industrial areas; in some of the bigger industrial concentrations, more than one Institute function within the framework of the Scheme. The statement at the Annexure II shows that expansion of training facilities in different States has been uneven. In planning such facilities local demand was the primary consideration, apart from other factors like sustained demand and facilities provided by the State for expanding the institutes. The training in these institutes is designed to teach basic skills to young persons (15 to 25 years) and to prepare them for production jobs of their choice. It combines shop floor work with class-room instruction. The trainee spends 70 per cent of his total time on practical work. The period of training is one year for some trades and two years for others. Subjects taught in the ITIs cover both engineering and non-engineering trades. The former includes metal cutting, turning, fitting, metal working, electrical, building construction work, etc., whereas the latter group comprises trades suitable for women and cottage and small-scale industries. Some ITIs have diversified the content of their training programmes to meet the needs of new industries such as chemicals, petro-chemicals, fertilizers, drugs and pharmaceuticals1